Silver Lining

A loving community finding the silver lining.

Just move forward

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“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s all too easy to give up on something when it gets hard. I’ll even admit to giving up on so many things that I’ve lost count, but every time I give up, I’m filled with regret of how good I could have become. One in particular is Tae Kwon Do, which I did for years, even getting close to getting a black belt. The master even got one for me, with my name on it, and hung it up with other belts that were waiting to be earned. I loved Tae Kwon Do, and I wanted to reach black belt so bad, but I had to stop because I didn’t have time for it anymore, once I got to high school. And just like that, getting a black belt was over. Now that I’ll be leaving for college soon, I know it’s pointless to go back and try to get the belt, so now every time I see someone do martial arts, I think back to that black belt with my name on it, just hanging there, never earned, and I feel guilty for never going back to get it. What I wish I had done is rather than go three times a week, go once a week, and slowly work my way up to black belt. I didn’t have to keep going as often as I did before, as long as I made progress towards getting that black belt. That’s why I’m here to tell you that if you really love doing something or want something, but you don’t know if you can keep doing it, you can slow down, as long as you keep going.

If you don’t take risks…

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My teachers have told me many times–and I bet they’ve told you too–take risks, because that’s the only way you’ll succeed. They are right. If you keep doing the same thing for your entire life, nothing will ever change or get better. For the longest time, I was like that. I never did anything new or different. I just did well in school and a few extracurriculars. I did the same thing every day and became numb to the world. I was just going through the motions of everything, and I never really had fun. Even the things that I enjoyed most, such as singing or being with friends weren’t as fun as they used to be, and I had to force myself to pretend that I was having fun, so people wouldn’t worry. I wasn’t depressed or anything; I was just bored with everything in my life. But around spring 2015, I started doing more. I worked harder for what I wanted. I joined temporary bands set up by my guitar teacher and played some gigs. I started recording songs to send out to record companies. I started writing, and considered minoring in music in college. Once I started doing more, I started having more fun. All of the new things that I was doing gave me excitement for my future. I still sometimes slip back into the repetitive boredom, but I now have more to look forward to, and more to work for than just getting into a good college, the same goal as everyone in my school. The new things that I’m doing make me different and give me hope that 30 years later, when I’m looking back at my high school years, I won’t have any regrets. Even if all of the things that I’m planning don’t work out, I took a risk. A risk that makes me different from all of the others around me who just want straight As and perfect SAT scores to get into a good college. The risks you take may not guarantee success, but they give you something to look forward to.